Adjective (French) mou m (f molle)
1. soft to the touch (tissu, tige)
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As I type this, laptop on my lap, our cat is asleep, purring, in his favourite spot: under my knees, under the duvet.
Yesterday morning, I braved the Underground to Picadilly along with the work force, for a special, private event in Modus Publicity's office: a breakfast with the creator and designer of MOU, Shelley Tichborne. We met, along with a few lovely bloggers, over coffee and fabulous pastries, and everything she said - the things she loves - the type and variety of work we have done - just so deeply resonated with me. I just instantly got it about her. I asked her what Mou meant - because she started this company with one design, the men's super soft calf skin slipper, shown here - so I assumed Mou meant Moo: the sound a cow makes.
That's when she said MOU is French for soft. Aha. Yes. While men can be tough, women can be soft.. yet there's a power in that softness. I thought about our cat: under that silky soft fur that I love to pet, is the heart and soul and muscles and bones and teeth and claws of a jungle creature.
If pushed, we women can be tough. But usually, we don't have to: we can get our way by being soft. And pretty.
We were admiring and trying on all the styles, but then it hit me: as promised, we were to be gifted with a pair of our choosing! And that is disastrous for someone like me. You might have noticed, I don't have a 'wish list'. There is a reason: I rarely shop, and altho I first saw this line on net-a-porter, I was there for research purposes only: I am so used to not shopping, that I was paralysed with a kind of fear. Before I left that room, I was going to have to make a decision. I was going to have to choose, and stick with that choice. The problem with choice is, what if I get it wrong? It's the reason this post is so long: I simply could not choose three favourite shots.
I ran into sweet Abimarvel, and she instantly made her choice: 'bandeau', in grey knit like big socks, shown above. They seemed tempting, but so did the more edgy knitted biker, in black, that Kristin, the Clothes Whisperer, was trying on.
But I mean, I can be as equally wishy washy about choosing what to eat. Are you like that? Or are you the type who can sit down in a restaurant and be the first one ready to order? I hate that about me. I couldn't even decide which pastry to choose! They all looked so good, and so did the boots.
So I busied myself with chatting with Abi and Shelley and shooting Kristin's dog, all the while thinking about softness and how perfectly the clothes everyone was wearing - even the soft furnishings around the room by another client, Toast - all fitted in with the colours and textures. But especially, Butter, the dog.
And I had an idea: to post the dog next to one of the shoes. She was just below me, and I was about to pick her up but everyone was suddenly staring at her. She was.. standing funny. Everyone was shouting. 'Oh, shit!' someone said. Actually, it wasn't. It was pee.
'I probably should have walked her before we came here', said Kristin. (Yeah, you think?) Anyway, it was all cleaned up pretty quickly - one of the Modus girls grabbed some napkins from the buffet, and poor Butter was looking rather sheepish. We've all been there, Butter. Especially after too much coffee. That's why mother always said to pee before leaving the house: probably the best advice a woman can get in life.
Before I left, I selected the large almond croissant, and - how cheeky is this, on top of the free boots - I wrapped it in one of the large paper napkins (not one of the ones that cleaned up 'pee gate', as we're now calling it) to take it to go.
As for my Mous? It was becoming impossible to decide. And to make matters worse, I was wearing a pair the whole time, and they were just so warm and soft and deliciously comfortable, I didn't want to part with them and put on my plain old shoes. I couldn't leave until I decided, and I didn't want to take off the shoes to leave.
I finally settled on the butter coloured tall Eskimo, in dark sand, because Giorgina said that's the one Gwyneth Paltrow wears. And I can't think of a better example of a woman who is soft yet strong, brainy yet beautiful, than our Gwyneth. Except, perhaps, Shelley herself.